Triage X Vol. 1 (Manga)
Publisher: Yen Press
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Creator: Shoji Sato
Format: 160 pgs., Black & White, Trade Paperback
Age Rating: Adult
ICv2 Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Once you get past the cover and shrink wrap surrounding this manga and get to the very first page, you're greeted by a very large breasted woman in a bikini lounging next to another large breasted woman behind a very large gun and you realize, oh yes... it's going to be one of those manga.
From creator Shouji Sato (Highschool of the Dead) comes this action packed first volume about a group of hospital staff who save lives by day but by night take out the cancerous growths of society that the law can't touch for one reason or another. Led by the hospital director Masamune Mochizuki, this group goes into vigilante mode whenever they are summoned to take out the dregs of society when the police aren't able to.
In this first volume, the characters of the series take us on a wild, high octane ride throughout the city as they deal with a corrupt construction company with ties to organized crime. The police haven't been able to stop them and so it's up to this group to deal with cutting out the cancer and wow is it ever entertaining.
As mentioned earlier, this is a series filled with all of the things that we guiltily love as adults: bloody violence, big breasted fan service, gun fights, anti-heroes, torture… you name the cliché and it's probably been thrown into these pages and it works so very well. For what this series is and what it aims to be, Triage X gets off to a very good start and really captures the attention of the reader from the very first chapter when lead character Arashi breaks into a criminal mansion and throws the evil leader a loaded gun offering him the chance to die like a man or be shot down like a thug.
The only place where Triage X fails is in its opening character development. While Arashi gets plenty of panel time to slowly explain who he is and where he comes from, the female characters in this book are treated very poorly and given very little time to develop who they are, often to the point of appearing almost disposable. Had these characters been given more time to talk about themselves and reveal who they are as much as Arashi was, I would've gladly given this book a higher rating.
Despite this glaring flaw however, this is still a great book for adults who are looking for something that is actually adult in nature. With bullets that fly, body counts that rise and fan service that invades every chapter, you know exactly what you're getting with this book and it makes for a very enjoyable time! Recommended.
-- L.B. Bryant